June 7 - At AAL Japan's one-year anniversary celebrations in Tokyo, almost 200 industry stakeholders came together to share cautious optimism about Japan's economic outlook and the future for the country's project cargo exports.

Attendees at the event, which was hosted by AAL chairman, Heinrich Schoeller, and managing director, Kyriacos Panayides, predicted that heavy lift and breakbulk cargo moving from Japan into Asia would grow over the next 18 months.

News that local engineering companies are currently involved in energy projects in Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar, as well as oil and gas developments in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, added to the optimistic nature of the anniversary celebrations, stated the project carrier.

Beyond Asia too, suggested AAL, upcoming energy projects are being targeted in Africa, while oil and gas projects on the US west coast and Middle East are raising confidence and drawing attention away from a slowing China trade.

"Japan's position as the world's third largest economy is very much by design," said Wolfgang Harms, deputy managing director of AAL and head of its operations in Japan.

"The engineering, industrial and commercial infrastructure and capabilities here are a leading example to the rest of the Asia and indeed many other markets around the world."

He added: "The local government is working hard to lift economic fortunes. This is being shaped not just with monetary policy to boost trade and consumer spending to an inflation target of 2 pecent, but through infrastructure developments, renewable energy reforms and the building of stronger trade outside Asia - a policy which helped exports rise in the last quarter of 2015, after a sustained period of decline."

Port of Kobe, Japan